Last night on the biggest NHL slate of the season, I went 12-10-1 to lose half a unit. I started off incredible sweeping the Sabres game but the rest of the slate had some lousy beats and games going to overtime to end up bleeding it back. After last night’s crazy 14 game slate, we only have three games tonight before another huge slate of twelve games tomorrow. Let’s put together some wins.
Flyers vs. Rangers (7:00)
Last night the Rangers lost 4-2 to the Hurricanes to end their three game win streak. The Rags are already clinched their spot in the playoffs with a 47-21-6 record and they have an 11-4-1 record in their last 16 games. The Rangers have averaged 3.01 goals per game on the season and they’ve been generating much more offense since the trade deadline, a good sign going into the playoffs for a team that’s struggled offensively at times this year. Their defense has been incredible and Igor Shesterkin’s the best goalie in the NHL this season (2.09 GAA, .934 save percentage) and with that, New York has allowed an average of just 2.54 goals per game, third fewest in the NHL. On the second half of a back to back they’re likely going with backup Alexandar Georgiev instead tonight in goal, who’s sucked with a 3.03 GAA and .894 save percentage. He should have a pretty easy matchup though tonight against the horrible Flyers. Philly played last night as well, getting trounced 9-2 in Washington (triple winner for me). They’re 23-39-11 on the season with just two wins in their last nine games. They’ve been horrible on both ends of the ice, scoring an average of 2.59 goals per game, fourth fewest in the NHL and allowing an average of 3.58 goals per game, sixth most in the NHL. These two divisional rivals have played three times already this season and the Rangers are 2-0-1 against the Flyers. They won 4-1 at home on December 1st then again 3-2 on January 15th in Philly and then they lost 4-3 in a shootout on April 10th with Kevin Hayes scoring a sick game winner on Shesterkin in the shootout after the Rangers came back from down 3-0 to force overtime. Even with Georgiev starting, I’d expect the Rangers to bounce back from their loss last night with an easy win tonight in Philly. I’ll go with a unit on the Rangers in regulation and half a unit on the over 5.5.
Blue Jackets vs. Canadiens (7:00)
Both of these teams are not good and this is a lousy game matching them up. The Blue Jackets are coming off a 5-4 overtime win in Detroit on Saturday on a Jack Roslovic game winner (win on the over for me) for their second win in their last three games, but those have been their only two wins in their last ten games. They’ve been very inconsistent with a 34-33-6 record, playing solid offense but terrible defense with bad goaltending. They have scored an average of 3.16 goals per game, 13th most in the NHL but they’ve allowed the third most goals in hockey, an average of 3.71 goals per game. Elvis Merzlikins hasn’t been good with a 3.4 GAA and .904 save percentage. The Habs are the worst team in the NHL this season at 20-42-11 and they only have five wins in their last 17 games, coming off a 4-2 loss at home to the Jets on Monday night (I went 1-1 on that game, a goal short and some good chances away from hitting the over). They’ve averaged just 2.59 goals per game, fourth fewest in the NHL and they’ve allowed the second most goals in hockey, an average of 3.8 goals per game. Sam Montembeault is likely to start in goal tonight and has been horrible this season with a 3.59 GAA and .896 save percentage. Columbus won both games these teams have played this season in Montreal with a 6-3 win on January 30th and a 2-1 win on February 12th. I’ll go with a half unit each on the Blue Jackets ML, Blue Jackets TT over 3.5 and the over 6.
Avalanche vs. Kings (9:30)
The Avs are statistically the best team in the NHL this season, leading the Western Conference with a 52-14-6 record and a 28-4-3 record at home with the #1 seed in the West pretty much locked up. They’re coming into tonight’s game on a six game win streak with an 11-1-1 record in their last 13 games, coming off a big 2-1 shootout win in Edmonton on Saturday night (winner). They’re rightfully the Stanley Cup favorites with the third highest scoring offense in the NHL, averaging 3.76 goals per game and they’re allowing a seventh fewest in the NHL average of 2.74 goals per game. Darcy Kuemper, who’s confirmed in goal tonight has been great in the second half of the season and on the year he has a 2.37 GAA and .926 save percentage. The Kings are on the second half of a back to back after a 5-2 win in Chicago last night (easy winner for me), their first win in their last four games. They currently hold a three point lead over Vegas for the third spot in the Pacific Division (and they’re tied with Dallas for the last Wild Card spot in the West) but they’ve struggled a bit lately with just three wins in their last eight games. LA has been pretty good defensively, allowing an average of 2.79 goals per game, ninth fewest in the NHL. They haven’t been very good offensively, which is likely why they end up getting bounced in the first round if they get into the playoffs as they’ve averaged just 2.81 goals per game, eleventh fewest in the NHL. The Avs won both games these teams played in LA earlier this season by three goals, winning 4-1 on January 20th and 3-0 on March 15th. Especially with the Kings on the road and on the second half of a back to back, I’d expect Colorado to win this game with ease. I’ll go with 1.5 units on the Avs in regulation, half a unit on the Kings TT under 2.5 in regulation and a SGP of the Avs -2.5 alternate puck line and Kings TT under 2.5. I think this game ends up staying under the total and will take the under 6.5 for a half unit as well.
1u Rangers in regulation (-129)
.5u Rangers/Flyers over 5.5 (-138)
.5u Blue Jackets ML (-156)
.5u Blue Jackets TT over 3.5 (-115)
.5u Blue Jackets/Canadiens over 6 (-136)
1.5u Avalanche in regulation (-159)
.5u Kings TT under 2.5 in regulation (-154)
.5u SGP: Avalanche -2.5 & Kings TT under 2.5 (+220)
.5u Kings/Avalanche under 6.5 (-128)
Record: 719-528-29 (+15.11 units)
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